In the short story The Augean Stables, John Hammett, Lord Cornworthy was the former Prime Minister, and the father-in-law of Edward Ferrier. Hammett was extremely popular and widely regarded as an honest politician. "He represented every quality which was dear to Englishmen". As leader of the People's Party, he stood for "Decency and Honesty". Unfortunately he was in reality a fraud. In the words of his son in law, he was one of the greatest crooks of his generation. He had used his position to amass a vast private fortune through share juggling and misuse of party funds. When his subordinates found out about it, they forced him to resign on the grounds of ill-health. His successor, Edward Ferrier, then set about to clean up the mess, a challenge likened to clearing the Augean Stables.
Hammett was described as a man of fine presence. He had "fair colouring and very bright blue eyes." His mother was Danish. Hammett had also served many years as First Lord of the Admiralty before becoming Prime Minister and had earned the nickname "The Viking".